Information on Face Lift Surgery
The facelift operation is performed to turn back the hands of time and has been refined in such a manner now that it has become an art form. A comprehensive face/ neck lift is a surgical procedure to treat facial and neck skin laxity, sagging and jowling. The primary goal is to lift the jowls and clean up the neck, which are the first signs of showing a person’s age. The procedure is performed on both men and women and involves removing fat in the neck, both above and below the platysma muscle. The platysma muscle, the front portion of the neck and the back portion of the neck behind the ears are tightened. The SMAS (which stands for the “superficial musculoaponeurotic system”) located along the cheekbone area, is also tightened. It is important that tightening of the facial muscles is performed so as not to place any tension on the skin. The reason that this is done is so there is not noticeable pulling or tightening of the skin, which will give a wind-tunneled or pulled look.
The most common age for a face/neck lift candidate is late 40s, 50s and 60s. The surgery can also be performed on folks in their 70s and 80s, however a limiting factor can be skin tone – if loose, a face / neck lift results may not last as long. The facelift will correct the appearance of sagging of the cheek and midface area. The procedure tightens muscle tone in the neck and facial area including the jowls, and it will tighten loose skin in the face and neck area, as well as also removing fatty deposits underneath the neck with liposuction. Liposuction is not performed in the face, only the neck area. The appearance of a double chin is also reduced.
A consultation with Dr. William Portuese is the first step in making a decision about proceeding with facial surgery. Dr. Portuese will take a thorough medical history and a physical examination of your face; evaluating the skin and neck elasticity, bone structure and facial wrinkles. Before photos are taken and computer imaging can also be performed at the time of consultation if needed for further communication of a patient’s desired outcome. After surgery photos are taken about three months after surgery and a complete set of before and after photos are given to our patient at that time. The office manager, Janet Silver, will discuss fees and scheduling at the time of consultation. Once a surgery date is decided, a pre operative appointment is scheduled (about three weeks prior to surgery) with one of our registered nurses. At that point, preparations are made for surgery; review of medications, prescriptions given, and postoperative care instructions given. Certain blood thinners will need to be stopped, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, herbal supplements and vitamin E, and smoking stopped, for two weeks prior to surgery.
The surgery itself will take place in our Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery center known as the Seattle Facial Plastic Surgery Center. A board-certified physician anesthesiologist from Swedish Medical Center will perform the general anesthetic. The face / neck lift surgery will take approximately three hours and then the patient will go into the recovery area for an additional two hours or so before being discharged to home. The facelift operation is an outpatient procedure, and patients are discharged to home with their caregiver.
During the face / neck lift procedure, incisions are made in such a fashion so as to not raise the hairline; incisions are placed both in front and behind the ear in an inconspicuous fashion to be minimally detectable after all of the healing has occurred. The deeper facial muscles are tightened along the cheekbone and in the front and back portion of the neck. Fat is removed with liposuction from the neck. The skin is then re-draped, a small amount of skin removed, and then sutures placed. There are no dressings applied, however, there are two #10 Jackson-Pratt drains placed underneath the skin. These drains are left in place for two days to remove any fluid accumulation in the neck and removed two days after surgery. Patients are seen two days post op to remove the drains and 4 days post op to remove sutures. It is important for patients to abstain from strenuous activity raising their heart rate or blood pressure for two weeks after surgery. At two weeks, patients are able to return to their normal activities and social calendar and workout routine. Most of the incisions are going to take six to eight weeks before they turn into a fine and inconspicuous skin tone lines. Patients are usually very happy and excited about their new face / neck lift performed in the experienced care of Dr. William Portuese.